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The Queer and Now: Chris Tyler

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Friday, October 4, 2013
- | Segal Theatre

#HASHTAG: A Performance Art Performance

Photo by Mars Hobrecker

Photo by Mars Hobrecker

For his Prelude commission, Brooklyn-based performance artist Chris Tyler in collaboration with avant-garde celebrity James Franco and teenage nightlife sensation Ashleigh Nicolle Smith will create #HASHTAG, a three-part project based around Marina Abramovic’s famous work Marina Abramovic Institute: The Founders (2013). Its themes will range from fame, sex, love and dancing. Throughout the performance, the trio will intervene as both “artists” and “presences” as audience members attempt to interrogate their own perceptual modalities.

Artist Statement: Exploring contemporary existence as a cultural interface, the audience will share in the “adrenaline of art” and watch in real-time as #HASHTAG explodes onto the physical and virtual universe at once on October 4, our “BIG BANG!” On this day our trio venges with forte to bring the performance industry into a new age, an age where commerce drives art drives pop drives commerce, and the “artist” once again is in control of the “icon.”

Collaborating Artists: Chris Tyler, James Franco, and Ashleigh Nicolle Smith

About Chris Tyler: Chris Tyler (b. 1988, Suffern, New York) is a performance maker intrigued by the intersections of mass culture, queer theory, and the technological complexities of contemporary identity. In other words, he really likes Taylor Swift, pornography, and screaming into the Internet. Recent credits include This Is A Play About Being Gay (Wild Project), Waiting for Barbara (New Museum), Squirts: New Voices in Queer Performance (La MaMa E.T.C.), and A Crucible (Wild Project). A graduate of Brown University and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Chris also hosts and curates TRL >>> Total Rejects Live!, a monthly performance art cabaret at Williamsburg’s This ‘N’ That.

About James Franco: New York-based artist James Franco (b. 1978, Palo Alto, California) is a multi-talented actor, film director, screenwriter, musician, and performance artist. Franco carries on the Warholian marriage of celebrity and art, using media to constantly re-invent himself as an artist. Franco is specifically interested in exploring the multiple levels of addressing an audience, through platforms such as commercial film, installations, experimental short film, and performance. Major exhibitions include Gagosian Gallery, New York (2011); Clocktower Gallery, New York (2010); Peres Projects, Berlin (2011); and Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010).

About Ashleigh Nicolle Smith: No stranger to the stage, Ashleigh Nicolle Smith (b. 1999, Sloatsburg, New York) is thrilled to be making her Martin E. Segal Theatre Center debut in this year’s PRELUDE festival. Favorite roles include Guys & Dolls Jr. (Rusty Charlie), Into the Woods Jr. (Cinderella U/S), and The Wizard of Oz (Barrister of Munchkinland/Poppy/Citizen of Emerald City/Flying Monkey). This past spring, Ms. Smith had the honor of competing as a semi-finalist in the acclaimed Mr(s) Williamsburg Pageant at Sugarland Nightclub in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently an 8th grade student at Suffern Middle School, where she studies voice, dance, and acting in addition to academic subjects. For Mom.